A specialized lawn service?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by formerscrub, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. formerscrub

    formerscrub LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 16

    Since I starting this business 1 year ago with 5 lawns I have grown into a legitimate LCO with 35 residental accounts via word of mouth. I started out charging by the cut but after losing money
    last year I informed all of my accounts that I would bill monthly based on 32 cuts per year.(raising what they were paying per month considerably) I told them that I would be purchasing a larger mower(presently I run 2 toro proline 21 inchers)to helping in the expanding business. I was suprised to hear from them that they wanted me to continue with the 21's and would gladly pay me more to do so. Most of them stated there former LCO's tore up their lawns with the bigger machines and thought the 21's did a better job.(I must admit that I did see several lawns with damage) Now the question......Has anyone ever heard of a company that specialized in cutting with the small mowers. I think that if I can corner that market and advertise to the people who specifically want that(seems like mostly older people)and charge more i could actually come out ahead. Although it would take more time I think I would have less overhead than if I financed a larger mower. The question is has anyone ever heard or been asked about this?
  2. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    Over half the lawns in my area are mowed with 21's. Lot sizes here are 50x150 to100x300 in most areas. Lawns are small and broken up. Most lco's use a 36"er when they can. But over five years ago 21's dominated.
    When I bought a 36wb 5 years ago I had quite a few complaints about the cut compared to the 21's. I don't see it myself. I like the look of a wider cut.

    If the are willing to pay more do it. Just so the money is the same at the end of the day. They are not willing here.
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937


    If you are currently cutting those 35 lawns with a 21" push mower, then you have absolutely no need for a ZTR of any size! :)

    Biggest I suggest you go would be a 36" walkbehind, or at absolute most, a 48" walkbehind.

    You didn't say, but from your post I would guess that your largest lawn would be about a 1/4 acre. There is no need for larger equipment on these size lawns.

    Stick with the pushmowers! ;)
  4. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    How long does your average lawn take to cut with a 21"?

    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    If you have small lawns and make good $$$ using 21" mowers than keep going. There are some guys around here that cut bigger lawns with 21"ers, but usually it takes 3-4 guys cutting with 21's to get the lawn done fast, and I don't know how they could be making money. My customers used to give me a song and a dance about why they didn't want me to use "big" mowers. I told them if I had to use 21's then the price will have to be 4x as much! Usually that puts it in perspective for them. And by the way, a big mower wont tear up a yard, what tears up a yard is operator neglect!
  6. Nelson

    Nelson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278


    Where @ in Florida? I use a 32" Toro Proline w/sulky here in Florida, and
    it does just fine, it fits threw any gate. Plus I have a
    Toro 6 HP self propeled personal pace. I know this spring I will
    have to get a bigger w/b , cause I am going to kick A$$..:D
  7. formerscrub

    formerscrub LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 16

    Just to update the questions posted it takes about half an hour to complete a lawn and most of them are all together on the same block.(all done by myself) here in Pasco county Florida the grass is really starting to grow so I am gonna have to make a decision soon
  8. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    A 36" WB will do wonders. It will do all you need it to do presently and more. Belt drive is fine. I just got one to replace the 21" on a particular account and I must say that I was so impressed that I've since began to use it on other accounts, with MAH-velous results. Good luck!

    PS - It's very easy on the turf.
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I would buy the walk behind, and do it both ways. If they want to pay more to have it done with a 21 inch then let them. I know I have had quite a few that wanted me to mow with one of those, but I dont see how i would make money. Seems like it would be way too much work also, lots harder than riding. If your willing to do that, may want to offer to bag the grass also, the older people like that also, and they are also the ones that want a small mower form what i have seen.
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I agree with lawnman scott. If your going to stay in the small lawn market, do it both ways. Get a 32" or 36" and use it whenever possible. Only use the 21" if someone wants to pay more. I hate the looks of a 21" cut personnally. I think the smoother look from a wider deck looks better. Some disagree with me, and that is ok. To each his own. I don't even carry a 21" anymore. I refuse to use it.

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